The Tradition of Busójárás
Busójárás is a tradition of the native South-Slavic Šokci population of Mohács. It is an internationally recognised and frequented folk tradition for chasing away winter. The origins of the tradition can be found in chasing out the Turkish forces. Supposedly, the people living here would conceal themselves in the nearby swamps, donning masks and making loud noises to frighten away the superstitious Turkish soldiers. In reality, however, the Šokci people probably brought this tradition with them when arrived from the Balkans to settle here, and it merely developed into its present form here.
According to Šokci traditions, the essence of Busójárás is “poklade”, meaning transformation. They take this very seriously, experiencing this holiday in a different state of consciousness behind their masks, more in tune with their instincts and free of the boundaries of time and space. At these times, many things are allowed that would not be acceptable in everyday life. True Busó tradition demands that one’s face and identity must remain hidden during the holiday, and some people even regularly switch masks in order to keep their identity a secret.